Cyril Elgar HOWE


Cyril Elgar HOWE

Late of ?

New South Wales Police Force

Regd. #   8663

Rank:  Probationary Constable – appointed  1 April 1957

Constable 1st Class – appointed ?

Posthumously promoted from Cst 1/c to Sergeant 3rd Class

Stations: ?, Oaklands – Death

Service: From ? ? pre April 1957 to 20 December 1963 = 6+ years Service

AwardsQueen’s Police Medal for Gallantry ( Imperial ) – granted 24 March 1964

the Peter Mitchell Award.

Born: ? ? 1932

Died on:  Friday  20 December 1963 @ 10.45pm at Wagga Base Hospital

Age: 31

Cause:  Shot – Murdered – Shotgun

Event location:  Oaklands – Jerilderie road, Urana, NSW

Event date:  Thursday  19 December 1963

Funeral date: ? ? ?

Funeral location: ?

Funeral Parlour: ?

Buried at: Woronora Cemetery

Grave location:  Anglican Monumental. Sect Aj – 0126

Memorial located at: ?


Sergeant Cyril Howe ( 1963 )
Sergeant Cyril Howe ( 1963 )


Touch plate at the National Police Wall of Remembrance, Canberra, for Cyril Elgar HOWE
Touch plate at the National Police Wall of Remembrance, Canberra


Cyril Elgar HOWE grave


[alert_green]CYRIL IS mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance[/alert_green]



Funeral location: TBA





May they forever Rest In Peace


On the evening of 19 December, 1963 Constable Howe detained an offender named Little near Oaklands and spoke to him regarding a stolen cheque book. He then directed the offender to drive his vehicle to the local police station while he followed in the police vehicle.

En route the offender sped away, and was pursued by Constable Howe for several kilometres. When the offender eventually stopped, the constable approached his vehicle. The offender, who had taken cover behind his vehicle door (the doors opened backwards from hinged centre pillars), then produced a shotgun and shot Constable Howe.

The constable crawled back to the police vehicle where he took cover, and although seriously wounded, returned fire until his automatic pistol jammed. He then sought further cover by crawling underneath the police vehicle, where he cleared his pistol and fired another shot before it again jammed. The offender then fired at the police vehicle, shooting out the headlights, steering, and the police sign from the top, before escaping.


Constable Howe then wrote the offender’s name several times in his police notebook before dragging himself into the police vehicle. He was only able to drive it a few metres before it ran into a roadside ditch.

After being found, the constable was able to detail the events leading to the shooting.

He was taken to the Wagga Base Hospital, however despite a five-hour operation he died at 10.45pm on 20 December, 1963.

Constable 1st Class Howe was posthumously promoted to Sergeant 3rd Class and awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for Gallantry, and the Peter Mitchell Award.

The offender later committed suicide.


The circumstances surrounding Sergeant Howe’s death ( pistol repeatedly jamming ) led to the introduction of Smith & Wesson .38 calibre 6 shot revolvers as general service issue to New South Wales Police. These, in turn were replaced by Glock semi-automatic pistols in the late 1990s.


The sergeant was born in 1932 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 1 April, 1957. At the time of his death he was stationed at Oaklands.



Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995), Friday 5 June 1964, page 6


Above: Mrs. Howe and her children. Mark, 4, Paul, 2, and Kim, 5, proudly examine the medal after the presentation.

Above: Mrs. Howe and her children. Mark, 4, Paul, 2, and Kim, 5, proudly examine the medal after the presentation.

SYDNEY, Thursday. – A police sergeant, shot dead by a crazed gunman at Oaklands last year was today posthumously awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for gallantry.

The policeman, Cyril Edgar Howe, although extensively wounded and in great pain, wrote the name of his killer in his notebook.

When he was found by police, Sgt. Howe gave them full particulars of the incident before being taken to hospital, where he died following an emergency operation.

The State Governor, Sir Eric Woodward today presented the award to Sergeant Howe‘s widow, Mrs. June Howe at an impressive Government House ceremony.

Sir Eric said Sgt. Howe displayed devotion to duty, fortitude and courage of an extremely high order.


The Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct was presented to Constable William Terence Johnston.

Constable Johnston risked his life in the sea at Bombo Beach, Kiama, to rescue a fisherman washed off the rocks.








Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995), Wednesday 25 March 1964, page 8

Bravery Is Recognised

SYDNEY, Tuesday. — The Queen’s Police Medal for Gallantry has been awarded posthumously to Sergeant Third Class Cyril Elgar Howe.

Sgt. Howe was wounded fatally while trying to apprehend murderer William Stanley Little at Urana on December 19, 1963.

On the night of December 19, Sgt. Howe — then a Constable First Class, while investigating a theft stopped a car driven by Little.

Little, armed with a shotgun, shot Const. Howe when the officer attempted to arrest him.

Although in great pain, Const. Howe took out his official police notebook and wrote the words, “Little, Little“.

On the back cover of the notebook, he printed the words, “Little shot me“.

After being found, he gave other police particulars of the incident and of the offender.

He died in Wagga Base Hospital on December 20, soon after an emergency operation.



Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995), Monday 6 January 1964, page 3

W A G G A , Sunday. — More than £2,000 has been subscribed to appeals for the family of the late Cyril Howe, the Oaklands police officer shot by a killer on December 20 at Oaklands.

The Bushfire Brigade, of which Const. Howe was captain, has opened an appeal, to close on January 21. Tonight the secretary, Mr. D. J. Kerr, reported that a little more than £300 had been received to date, including a £200 gift from the Nowranie Pastoral Co.

This weekend Wagga radio station 2WG conducted an appeal which has raised £1,726.

People from all parts of the Riverina telephoned, promising money.

Gifts ranged from as high as £30 to 2/6 given from a child’s money box.





Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995), Saturday 28 December 1963, page 6

Police Seek New Pistol

SYDNEY, Friday. -The Police Association of N.S.W. will press the Police Department to replace all Webley and Scott issue automatic pistols following the death last week of Constable Cyril Howe at Oaklands.

The secretary of the association, Mr. F. C. Laut, said today his organisation had been pressing for a replacement of this type of pistol “for many years”.

Two police officers had lost their lives in recent years when using these pistols, he said.

Both had fired their pistols twice and the mechanisms had jammed at the third shot. They were Constable Howe and Sergeant Nash, who lost his life several years ago at Wollongong.

Mr. Laut emphasised that the failure of the pistols could not necessarily be claimed to have been the cause of the officer’s deaths.

The department, however, apparently admitted a flaw in the issue type of pistol when it permitted officers to arrange for “personal replacements” of weapons.

Mr. Laut said the association had “pinned its hopes” on an Italian made .38 calibre automatic pistol.

Officers had to carry pistols when on duty and could be called to use them at any time.




Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995), Friday 27 December 1963, page 1

Manhunt Ends With A Second Double Killing

WAGGA, Thursday. – A week-long hunt for a man and a girl ended tragically today in a fowlhouse at Oaklands, a small village near Wagga.

As five police approached him, the man, William Stanley Little, shot 14-year-old Susan Lyons and then killed himself.

The fowlhouse in which the double shooting took place was only 50 yards from the house in which Little had been living with Susan Lyon‘s mother for several weeks.

The hunt for Little began last Thursday night when the bodies of Constable Cyril Howe, 31, and a bridge worker, Reginald Hunter, 57, were found within a few miles of Oaklands.

This morning Little made a surprise return to the hut where he had been living.

Police, under Det. Const. W. Sheather, made a routine check of the house today and noticed that a pound of butter had been moved since they checked last night.

Det. Sheather ordered an inspection of all huts and sheds around the house.

As the five policemen began searching a shotgun blast rang out from the fowlhouse.

Police rook cover behind a car and then fired three shots over the top of the fowlhouse.

Another single shotgun blast followed.

The police closed in on the shed and Det. Sheather opened the door.

He found the girl dead and Little critically wounded.

Little died before any medical help could be given.

The chief of the C.I.B., Supt. R. Walden, said later the man had shot Susan Lyons and then committed suicide.

Neither the girl’s death nor the man’s injury was caused by our men,” he said.


A post-mortem examination was today made in Urana of the bodies of Little and the girl.

A coroner’s inquest will be held, but no date has yet been fixed.

Police believe she had been held captive by Little since last Thursday night.

Police several times had expressed fear that the girl would be held hostage by the man.

The whole Riverina is seething,” Supt, Kempton, in charge of Wagga district, said tonight.

Everyone is appalled by the girl’s death.”

The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Allan, tonight expressed his sincere appreciation of police efforts in the hunt.

All police showed a keenness to see this matter through, which did them great credit,” he said.

They worked hours and in conditions above and beyond those of the normal requirements of their duty.”

Maximum temperature for the search area has not fallen below 100 degrees for the past seven days.”

Mr. Allan also thanked private citizens for their part in the search.


Four planes were donated by district graziers to help the search.

Local polo players risked prize ponies to search through dangerous country for the killer.

This shall be remembered as a typical example of public co-operation with the Police Department in the interests of law enforcement,” Mr. Allan said.

The hunt for Little began when the body of Const. Cyril Howe was found in his police car just off the Oaklands-Jerilderie road.

Before he collapsed, Const. Howe scribbled the name of his assailant in his notebook.

Several hours later, police found Reginald Victor Hunter‘s body in his caravan, 12 miles away.

Like Const. Howe, Hunter has been killed by a shotgun blast.

This picture was taken yesterday only seconds before police fired warning shots over a fowlhouse near Oaklands after they heard the first of two shot gun blasts. They later found William Stanley. Little inside, mortally wounded, and 14-year-old Susan Lyons dead.

This picture was taken yesterday only seconds before police fired warning shots over a fowlhouse near Oaklands after they heard the first of two shot gun blasts. They later found William Stanley. Little inside, mortally wounded, and 14-year-old Susan Lyons dead.



Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995), Monday 23 December 1963, page 3


WAGGA, Sunday. – Police searching for the shotgun killer of a policeman and a contractor in the southern Riverina believe they will track him down

some time tomorrow.

The search will go on through the night.

I think we’ll have good news for you by tomorrow night,” Supt. J. C. Kempton said tonight.

Supt. Kempton, in charge of the Wagga Police District, is leading the search for the murderer.

Four hundred men-on foot, on horseback, in cars, trucks and four planes today concentrated the search on the sprawling 15,000-acre Werai Forest, near Deniliquin.

They had to fight their way through thick scrub in temperatures between 106 and 110 degrees.

“The men are weary, but confident they are getting close,” another senior police officer said tonight.


All available police have been sent to the forest following a report that a car, believed to be driven by the killer, was seen parked in bushes in the forest yesterday.

Mr. J. Haydon, a station hand from Moulamein, told police he saw the car. Its description answered that of the Valiant in which the killer and a 14-year-old girl escaped.

Searchers late yesterday began a methodical check of the entire forest.

We started on the outside working in; we believe he is trapped in there,” Supt. Kempton said.


In another new development today, police discovered that the murderer stole a large quantity of food from one of his victims, bridge contractor Mr. Reginald

Hunter, 57, after he had shot him on Thursday.

The other victim was 30 year-old Oaklands policeman Cyril Howe, who died in Wagga Base Hospital yesterday.

Hunter’s family checked his caravan today and found that a lot of food and some petrol were missing,” Supt. Kempton said.

The car the wanted man is driving also was stolen from Hunter.

All four planes in the search have been volunteered by district graziers. They are using the main street of the small town of Booroorban, about 200 miles west of Wagga, as a runway.


The girl travelling with the killer is believed to be pregnant.

Police fear for her life. They believe she may have been forced to cut her hair and dress as a boy.

The girl is of medium build, five feet tall, with brown hair and hazel eyes. She has a boil on the right side of her face.

She was dressed as a boy in a brown shirt, black jumper and khaki trousers.

Before he collapsed Const. Howe was able to scrawl the name of his attacker in his notebook.

In the massive search that followed, police found the body of Hunter in a caravan about half a mile from the spot where Howe was fatally wounded.

He had shotgun wounds in the chest and police believe he died instantly. A doctor said he had been dead for about 12 hours.

The fugitive is believed to be armed with a .22 rifle as well as the shotgun.

Police think he has plenty of ammunition.






I have some information prior to Cyril joining the police force.

Cyril was engaged to my mother. It would have been late 1950’s I guess.

Cyril worked as a volunteer ambulance officer around the Rockdale area I believe.

The engagement was broken off because my grandfather had spent 12 months in Glen Innes prison for stealing some years earlier and that would have impacted Cyrils’ chances of getting into the force.

I do have another photo somewhere, would need to hunt it down.







Please follow and like us:
Notify of
1 Comment
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

[…] had fired their pistols twice and the mechanisms had jammed at the third shot. They were Constable Howe and Sergeant Nash, who lost his life several years ago at […]

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x